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Norton Rose Fulbright to advise SRA on PII

Three-year role secured from 1 October 2013  

13 September 2013

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International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has won a bid to retain its position as legal advisor to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on client financial protection arrangements.

The three-year position, which commences on 1 October 2013, involves advising on and drafting related documents for the arrangements.

"We were delighted with all the bids we received. They were of a very high standard,” said Agnieszka Scott, director of policy and strategy at the SRA. “Overall Norton Rose provides the best fit with our requirements."

Norton Rose Fulbright will be involved in preparing the principal documents that underpin the compulsory professional indemnity insurance (PII) scheme for UK law firms, the documents for run-off of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund, the Compensation Fund Rules and the Compensation Arrangements Review.

PII arrangements are due to change in the next renewal period as the final year of financial protection policy changes are implemented. For the indemnity year 2013/14, the changes will be:

  • The ARP will cease to provide policies of qualifying insurance and will be replaced with a system where insurers offer a three-month extended policy to firms that cannot obtain PII for the following year. A firm may continue to practise while it attempts to obtain a qualifying insurance policy for the first 30 days of the extended indemnity period. For the remaining 60 days, ‘the cessation period', the firm may only work on existing instructions while it attempts to find insurance, or conducts an orderly closure of its practice if insurance is not obtained.

  • The single renewal date will be removed for any policy starting on or after 1 October 2013

  • The ‘side arrangement', whereby coverage is provided to uninsured firms that have not applied or are not eligible to enter the ARP, was withdrawn with effect from 1 October 2012, and instead claims arising from such firms will continue to be met by the Compensation Fund

The SRA is also reviewing the risk to clients when a firm's insurer gets into financial difficulty. It says the review will be completed in time for any decisions to be made for the indemnity period starting on 1 October 2014.

 

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